Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Proper way to clean pistol?

    I'm looking for advice/opinions on how to properly clean one's pistol. In all honesty, for some reason, I find cleaning my pistol to be an enjoyable experience (must be the feeling that I'm contributing to the sustainability of $700+ worth of guns), but I'm not sure I'm doing it correctly.

    From what I looked up, the methods people uses varies tremendously. Some just wipes the inside of the slide/barrel with solvent then oil it and that's it. Others apply solvent liberally to every part using patches, Q-Tips, specialized plastic grips, and then a toothbrush to boot. Then they carefully apply oil through every crook and cranny using a specific method that requires switching between wiping with patches and applying more oil.

    I'm sort of in the middle. Here's my method:
    1) Disassemble all of my guns.
    2) Use solvent to clean barrels first (so as to give them time to properly clean the insides). Then apply solvent to all of the internal metal parts of the guns (magazine slot, inside of slide, slider holder, etc) using a combination of patches and Q-tips.
    3) Now I use patches to remove the solvent from all of the internal metal then use a new patch to remove the solvent from the barrel.
    4) I run a brass brush through the barrel 2-3 times then run a patch through it again to make sure it's as clean as possible.
    5) Now I use a combination of patches and Q-tips to apply oil inside the barrel, the internal metal, and even the external metal because I read this help keeps the gun's external metal from ruining.
    6) Reassemble everything and place them inside the original cases I received when I purchased them.

    That's my normal method of cleaning. Is that alright? Not enough? Too much? Any comments is appreciated.

    P.S. I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but I'm using the above method to clean a S&W 22A and a S&W M&P9.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    Very good question! One, I'm sure, that does not have a single correct answer.

    Cleaning guns is one reason I tend to prefer gray or stainless gun finishes... it's a lot easier to see stray powder on a light finish than it is on a black finish.

    I think everyone who cleans their guns cleans the barrel. It's the rest where everyone varies. Personally, I try to remove all traces of powder wherever I find them. I'll use solvent pretty much everywhere, using patches, rags, q-tips, picks, and a toothbrush to clean off any and all powder spots that I see. The stiff-bristled toothbrush is really helpful for the nooks and crannies that require scrubbing.

    In general, I do not use oil unless one of the following apply:
    1) I intend on storing the gun for six months or more with no use.
    2) There is a moving part that is not moving as smoothly as I'd prefer.

    When I do use oil, I use it very sparingly. How sparingly? My grandfather gave me a little orange container of Hoppes gun oil twenty years ago, I'm about 1/4 of the way through it.

    I have several guns that I've owned for decades, rust has never been an issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Apolacon Township, Pennsylvania
    (Susquehanna County)
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    Default Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    Looks pretty good. As long as you're following the guidance provided in the owner's manual you'll be fine.

    I take it when you say "disassemble" you're only doing a "field strip" iaw the owner's manual not a "detail strip".

    There are as many ways of doing the job as there are guys to do it. Different folks like different methods. For example, I use a solvent "soak tank". It's a GI ammo can filled with a mixture of Auto Transmission Fluid, Kerosene, GI bore cleaner & Hoppe's #9. For my handguns I do a field strip and drop them in the tank "overnight" and let the solvent work. After they soak, I wipe them down with a soft cotton rag to remove all the solvent and crud, sometimes a going over with a toothbrush or bronze brush for stubborn stuff is needed, punch out and dry the bore, relubricate and reassemble and job done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Primos, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    I pee on them.
    Some people just plain suck.
    If you're gonna be dumb ya gotta be tough.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bimmerville, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    clean guns? only when they stop functioning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Red face Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    UNLOADED!!!

    This SEEMS self-explanatory, but you'd BE surprised...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    SomewhereInLehigh, Pennsylvania
    (Lehigh County)
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    Default Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    I only use solvent on the inside of the barrel and the feed ramp. Rest are Break-free CLP.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania
    (Clinton County)
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    Default Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaBimmerGuy View Post
    clean guns? only when they stop functioning.
    What if the non function occurs during the one time you really need it and not at the range? Take care of the firearm it will take care of you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southeast, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    Has anyone mentioned a power washer or a sand blaster yet?

    Try a sonic cleaner, works great with Glocks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    back to Port Charlotte, Florida
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    Default Re: Proper way to clean pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaBimmerGuy View Post
    clean guns? only when they stop functioning.
    I used to be on the wayward, super clean path, but now I am on this path. It is not as narrow and it costs a lot less to walk down it. I doubt any of us drop our guns in the mud or bury them for days on end to see if they will still shoot, which most modern pistols now will do, but to clean one after every shoot, well, as I said in another post, that is time I lose getting some cooter from my wife, taking the kids to the beach (I sit in the shade), or doing chores around the house. I don't even put a brass bristle brush in one of my pistol barrels until it has 1000 or so rounds down it. The bullets will wear it out fast enough as it is.
    Last edited by harold63; June 14th, 2011 at 11:45 PM.

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